Van Gogh in
Pesserstraat 24, Hoogeveen
The building at Pesserstraat 24 (formerly Toldijk 446) has been identified as the place where Vincent lodged with the Hartsuikers, though some scholars disagree. Grote Kerkstraat 51 (formerly Grote Kerksteeg 51) is mentioned as another possible address. The original building on Grote Kerkstraat has been demolished and the one on Pesserstraat/Toldijk extensively altered.
Van Gogh in
Vincent arrived in Hoogeveen on 11 September 1883 and found a room for one guilder a day near the railway station. He lived with the innkeeper Albertus Hartsuiker (1827–1902), his wife, Catharina Beukema (1835–1908), and their three children. The guest house included a large room where the lodgers could sit, a stable, an attic and a garden. Vincent was allowed to use the attic as a studio and keep his art supplies there.
Vincent tirelessly explored the surrounding area from Hoogeveen – the villages of Stuifzand, Zwartschaap, Pesse, and later Tiendeveen, Nieuweroord and Nieuwelande. The bog and heath landscape, the dilapidated old houses and turf huts, and the poor local residents and their harsh living conditions attracted his attention. They provided him with subject matter for his art. His enthusiasm was evident in his letters:
“I saw superb figures out in the country — striking in their expression of soberness.” Read the complete letter
The barges laden with turf and the people who worked on the land also made a lasting impression on Vincent. No known painted figure studies and few figural drawings have been preserved from his time in Hoogeveen, however. Since the local people disliked posing with onlookers around, a proper studio was desirable. Unfortunately, the Hartsuikers’ attic lacked sufficient light or space. Vincent realised he needed a better place to work and succeeded in finding one.
Vincent had brought various painting supplies from The Hague but soon used them up. Unable to obtain new materials in Hoogeveen, he had them delivered by Furnée, his paint supplier in The Hague. But once these too ran out, his disposition changed:
“And if I look at my things, they’re too poor, too inadequate, too much exhausted. We’re having gloomy, rainy days here, and when I come into the corner of the attic where I’ve installed myself it’s all remarkably melancholy there — with the light from one single glass roof tile that falls on an empty painting box, on a bundle of brushes with few decent bristles remaining, well it’s so curiously melancholy that luckily it also has a funny enough side not to weep over it but to regard it more cheerfully.” Read the complete letter
Vincent had become curious about the turf pits and heathland as soon as he arrived in Drenthe and he wished to explore more of the area. Thanks to funds sent by Theo and his father, he was able to buy new art supplies and travel further east into the province. After two weeks in Hoogeveen, he left for the village of Nieuw-Amsterdam.